playing with flour

Category: Lemon

Lemon and Mandarin Madeleines

So Malta is amazing, although I have to say I didn’t expect anything less. I’m loving being a tourist and exploring some fantastic places and getting to understand all the history here. Unfortunately I’m in my last couple of days before heading home but I am looking forward to being back with my family and friends and to getting back in the kitchen.

When I was at a market in Tasmania I found this awesome tin. I had a few ideas of what I could use it for and one of those things was madeleines. I’ve always wanted to make them but I’ve never had a madeleine tin. I do understand that this isn’t a traditional tin but it is a similar depth and was definitely worth a try. Being the first time I’ve made these I’m not entirely sure they’re accurate but they do taste pretty awesome.

This recipe makes soft buttery sponge cakes with a lemony scent and they’re perfect straight from the oven. I decided to dip the cakes in a mandarin flavoured glaze to give them some extra sweetness and a bit of texture. I did find that after a while they became a bit dense and weren’t as enjoyable but they were still delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.

Some tips I found out while researching how best to make madeleines: make sure you butter your tin well (I used a pastry brush dipped in soft butter) and don’t overfill them. The longer you let the batter rest before baking the better, at least four hours is good, overnight is even better. Once you have filled the tins tap them on bench to get out any air bubbles and preheat your oven properly before baking. If the madeleines don’t come out of the tin easily use a toothpick or a spoon to help them out.

Lemon and Mandarin Madeleines

120g salt reduced butter
Finely chopped/grated rind of 2 lemons
3 eggs
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
170g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

In a small saucepan melt the butter and then add the lemon rind. Set aside until the butter cools but not long enough for it to set. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, sugars and golden syrup on high speed until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

Sift the baking powder and flour into the mixture and fold through gently. Add the butter mix in small amounts, folding through after each addition. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat your oven to 180° and butter your tin well. Spoon the batter into the moulds until 2/3 full and tap the tin on the bench to get out the air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden then allow to cool before dipping in the mandarin glaze.

Mandarin glaze

Finely chopped/grated rind of 3 mandarins
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has melted. Dip the madeleines into the glaze and allow to set on a wire rack.


Lemon Layer Cake

I’m really lucky to have some great neighbours. We live in an apartment building where it is all too easy to shut the door and ignore the outside world. It is only over the last year or so that I’ve gotten to know the people living so close to us and I’m so glad I did. It can really help to have friends nearby especially when you have freshly baked goods you need to offload to avoid eating all of them!

When my lovely neighbour Bec celebrated her birthday last week I thought it was only appropriate that I bake her a cake. Being that it is only her and her boyfriend at home I didn’t want to make a giant cake, but rather something small and simple. Unfortunately I only had one small baking tin so each layer was baked separately (hence the variation in sizes) and then assembled.

The lemon in this cake is bright and delicious and pairs well with the cream cheese and coconut frosting. Using lemon curd in the layers also helps bring out the tanginess, feel free to use store bought or make your own.

The edges of the cake can get a bit dry so I would recommend covering the cake with foil as it is baking if it starts to brown too quickly. The recipe converts well into a full sized cake if you’d rather make it that way. Using a 10cm cake tin I made five small cakes which, when sliced, equated to two frosted cakes.

Happy birthday Bec x

Lemon Cake
Adapted from recipe by Donna Hay

220g melted butter
1.5 cups caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cream
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon rind
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180° and prepare your baking tins. In an large bowl place your cooled butter, sugar, eggs, cream, lemon juice and rind and beat on a low speed until combined.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat for 3-4 minutes on medium speed until smooth. Pour into tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting and frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened
65g butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4-5 cups icing sugar

In a medium sized bowl beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, lemon juice and zest until smooth, about 5 minutes. Sift the icing sugar in a cup at a time, combining with each addition, until you get a thick spreadable frosting.

When assembling the cake spread a layer of lemon curd on each layer before adding the frosting. Continue to add layers until you get the height you desire. I would recommend keeping everything cold to help make the process easier. Cover the top and sides of the cake in more frosting, then press desiccated coconut onto each surface to cover the cake.

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